Slow cooker pork chops are so juicy and tender that they practically melt in your mouth, and the flavors are perfectly balanced, thanks to the heavenly combination of garlic and brown sugar. It's the ultimate comfort food that not only satisfies your taste buds but also warms your soul.
Enjoying a homecooked meal at the end of the day is one of life's joys that is often overlooked. We live busy lives and all too frequently, fast food, take out and other convenience foods take center stage.
Air Fryers and the Instant Pot are so appealing because they provide the ability to get a delicious meal on the table in a hurry. I love both of these appliances but I still like to be intentional in my meal planning and cooking when time allows. That's why I love my slow cooker and these tender brown sugar garlic pork chops. They are a family favorite and my absolute favorite way to cook them.
Crockpot pork chops aren't a totally set-it-and-forget-it meal. They take a little bit of advanced prep work but it is so worth it. When you sear them in that sizzling olive oil, a magical transformation takes place. The high heat locks in all those savory juices, giving the meat a beautiful caramelized exterior that adds an irresistible depth of flavor that's complimented by garlic, brown sugar and the gentle nature of slow cooking.
When you finally lift the lid of the slow cooker, your kitchen will be filled with the most heavenly aroma. You'll be greeted by tender pork chops so succulent that they practically fall apart at the mere touch of your fork. That sauce, infused with the flavors of garlic and brown sugar, will coat every bite, delivering a mouthwatering burst of sweet, savory, and garlicky perfection.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is used to sear the pork chops before they go into the slow cooker. It adds a subtle, fruity flavor and helps achieve that beautiful caramelization on the meat. Substitutes could include vegetable oil, canola oil, or even butter for a different flavor profile.
- Bone-In Pork Chops – Look for ½ inch thick, bone-in chops are because they tend to be more flavorful and juicy compared to boneless cuts. Substituting boneless pork chops is an option, but you might lose some of the flavor.
- Salt – Salt is a crucial seasoning that enhances the overall flavor of the dish and helps balance the sweetness of the brown sugar. You can substitute kosher salt or sea salt if that's what you have on hand.
- Pepper – Pepper adds a touch of heat and a mild spicy kick to the pork chops. You can use freshly ground black pepper or pre-ground pepper. Adjust the amount to your taste.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is spread over the pork chops, infusing them with a rich, savory taste. We don't recommend using garlic powder for this recipe
- Brown Sugar (½ cup): Brown sugar provides the dish with its sweet, caramelized notes. It also contributes to the sauce's thickness and flavor. You can substitute brown sugar with honey, maple syrup, or even a sugar-free sweetener if you prefer a lower-sugar option.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet or pan on medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side or until brown.
- Add the pork chops to the slow cooker in a single layer then spread the garlic all over the pork chops. It is fine if they overlap a bit. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
- Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove from the slow cooker, top with the sauce and enjoy!
Hint: For the best flavor, use freshly minced garlic.
Depending on your dietary preferences or ingredient availability, you can customize this recipe further. For example, if you prefer leaner protein, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs instead of pork chops. Additionally, you can experiment with different herbs and spices to tailor the flavor to your liking.
Remember that substitutions can alter the final taste and texture of the dish, so it's a good idea to adjust seasonings and flavors accordingly when making changes.
- Swap the Protein - Try using boneless chicken breasts or thighs instead of pork chops.
- Add Depth of Flavor - Add ground spices like paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, or chili powder for a spicier or more complex flavor profile. You can also add onion powder for more great flavor.
- Add Herbs - Experiment with fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage, or oregano to enhance the flavor. These herbs pair well with pork and chicken.
- BBQ Chops – Instead of brown sugar, use your favorite barbecue sauce for a smoky twist.
If you are in the market for a new slow cooker, a 6-quart crockpot is ideal for most families. A 6-quart slow cooker is a versatile choice and is great for making this recipe for up to 6 pork chops. It's suitable for larger families or if you plan to entertain guests. The extra space ensures that that these brown sugar and garlic pork chops have room to cook and soak up the flavors.
For the best results, store the tender pork chops and sauce in airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store them for up to 4 days. These easy crock pot pork chops are great for lunch the next day.
To reheat, place individual pork chops on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, and heat in 30-second intervals until they reach the desired temperature. Be careful not to overcook, as reheating too long can dry out the meat and create tough pork chops.
You can also reheat in a low-temperature oven for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
Pork chops can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Look for pork chops that are similar in size and a uniform thickness for even cooking.
- Opt for bone-in pork chops, as they tend to be more flavorful and juicy compared to boneless cuts. The bone adds richness to the dish and helps prevent overcooking.
- Don't skip the step of searing the pork chops before placing them in the slow cooker. Searing creates a caramelized crust and locks in much flavor, making the chops more flavorful and visually appealing.
- The recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic, but feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences. If you love garlic, you can add more for an even stronger garlic flavor.
- Place the pork chops in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker to ensure even cooking. Spread the minced garlic evenly over the chops, and then sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
- Cooking on low heat for 6 hours allows the flavors to meld and the pork to become tender. Avoid cooking on high heat, as it may lead to overcooking and tougher meat.
- Pork is safe to eat when its internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the pork chops, ensuring they are cooked to perfection.
- The sauce will thicken as it cooks. If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add a little chicken broth or water to adjust the consistency.
Yes, you can use boneless pork chops if you prefer. Keep in mind that boneless chops may cook faster than bone-in chops, so adjust the cooking time accordingly to avoid overcooking and drying out the meat.
You can adapt this recipe for chicken (thighs or breasts), beef (steaks or cubes), or even tofu/tempeh for a vegetarian version. Just adjust the cooking time based on the protein you choose.
You can sear the pork chops and assemble the ingredients in the slow cooker the night before. Store the slow cooker insert in the refrigerator, and in the morning, simply place it in the slow cooker base and start cooking. This is a great time-saving option for busy mornings but you will still have a great dinner on busy weeknights.
You can easily double the recipe, however, don't overfill your slow cooker. A larger 8-quart slow cooker may be a better option of you plan to double the recipe.
Juicy pork chops are one of our favorite meals and we eat them quite frequently. In addition to things like air fryer green beans, instant pot mashed potatoes, egg noodles and a classic house salad, we're always looking for exciting sides to serve with this versatile dish to make a hearty meal. This list of 21 Best Side Dishes for Pork Chops includes all of our favorites.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
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Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Garlic and Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 bone-in pork chops ½ inch thick
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Add olive oil to a large pan on medium to high heat. Season the Pork chops with the salt and pepper and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side or until brown.
- Add the pork chops to the slow cooker in a single layer then spread the garlic all over the pork chops. (It is ok if they are overlapping). Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
- Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove from the slow cooker, top with the sauce and enjoy!
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